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I love adding some vegetables to my burgers – it makes me eat more vegetables and adds great taste to the burgers! These are so simple to make as well regardless of whether you even have a grill. I often just pan fry them. They also store well in the fridge so I often cook a bunch of them and store them in the fridge. You can add in all sorts of vegetables into the patties – this time I added some leeks and parsley. I also added some salt and pepper and eggs to make the meat stick to the veggies well.
Ingredients: For 3lbs of meat, I used 2 leeks, a handful of parsley, and 3 eggs.
Directions: Mix everything together well and form the meat patties. Then simply grill or pan fry in some coconut oil. It’s that simple!
This is such a simple and delicious recipe and perfect for showing off your grilling skills without possessing any of those skills! It’s all in the marinade, and luckily, making the marinade just means dumping all the ingredients into a large bowl and stirring it. It’s also great because flank steak is such a cheap steak, so you can grill this all the time!
I made the marinade the night before and placed the flank steaks in the marinade overnight. There was so much flavor! I even reheated some left over steak in the microwave the next day, and it was still super tender and flavorful. So, here’s how to make it…
For 3 lbs of flank steak (usually two large pieces of flank steak that feeds at least 4 people):
I sliced the 2 large flank steaks into halves so that it would be more manageable for marinating and cooking. I placed each of the 4 pieces of steak into a ziplock (sandwich) bag and poured some marinade into the bag. I carefully sealed the 4 ziplock bags and placed them into another plastic bag before putting them into the fridge overnight (I really didn’t want anything to leak into my fridge).
This part will vary a bit depending on the type of grill you’re using, how thick your piece of steak is, and how rare or cooked you like your steak. My apartment building has a nice gas grill on the roof, so I try to keep the grill temperature around 300-350F with the lid down. I like my steaks medium so I generally use tongs to see how soft the meat is getting. When the meat starts to feel less like the softness of raw meat and more firm, then it’s pretty much ready for me. This usually takes around 15 minutes. If you like your steaks rare, then cook it for less time, and if you like it well done, then keep it on the grill with the temperature under 350F for longer.
Remember to cut against the grain (i.e. not parallel to the strings of meat fiber) if you’re slicing it up.
Or you can serve the steak whole with some grilled vegetables. The next photo shows approximately a 0.4 lb flank steak with some grilled asparagus. So, the marinade makes 8 pieces of steak that size.
It’s almost summer again – despite the grey skies in New York today. Consequently, it’s time to fire up the grill. I’ve been out of town a lot over the past two weeks, so my fridge was sadly empty. Luckily for me, however, my freezer is still well stocked. I pulled out a packet of Aidells Chicken & Apple sausages and two Amylu chicken burgers and fired up the grill.
I bought both of these from Costco, and the 5 sausages and 2 burgers were plenty for both the bf and me. In total, each meal (2.5 sausages and 1 burger) was 600 calories, 40g fat, 9g carbs, and 54g protein.
This is definitely a super easy dinner, and I even get to enjoy a few last rays of sunlight breaking through the muddy skies after spending a whole day inside! Perhaps summer is arriving at long last?
|Low Carb Pizza||
I always thought low carb pizza was some sort of myth (closely akin to unicorns and the Yeti) until I saw this recipe on Linda’s genaw.com. This recipe (which is below) makes individual 8-inch pizzas and is simple to make. The crust is made from a mixture of flax meal and parmesan cheese, which you cook in the microwave in just 2 minutes! Then for the sauce, you can go really easy and just use store-bought pizza sauce or make your own homemade pizza sauce using the recipe below (which just involves mixing some ingredients together and no cooking). I really like the sauce and recommend making it (it has very few carbs and tastes great). The recipe for the sauce makes a fair amount of sauce – enough for 8-10 pizzas (I found the recipe on allrecipes.com – it looked so simple to make and got great reviews from nearly 300 reviewers).
Ingredients to make 1 crust :
Ingredients to Make Pizza Sauce (good for 8-10 pizzas):
The photos below show me about to mix all the ingredients and after it’s mixed.
I put a few slices of mozzarella and pepperoni on top, but you’re welcome to pick your own toppings. Here’s one last photo, which shows the pizza about to go into the oven.
Following up on my low carb pasta post a few months ago, here’s a recipe for a nice low carb meal of spaghetti and meatballs (using shirataki or zucchini noodles). I’d start by making the meatballs (you can make these in advance and then heat them up later). Everything is freshly made except for the shirataki spaghetti, which you easily purchase at Wholefoods or at various supermarkets (most Korean supermarkets sell a variety of them).
Meatballs: Ingredients (makes 16-20 meatballs)
Tomato Sauce: Ingredients (makes 2 servings)
Tomato Sauce: Directions
Putting It All Together:
If you’re making zucchini noodles, then you should use a julienne peeler to create the noodles (see low carb pasta post for directions) and then cook the zucchini noodles for 30 seconds on high in the microwave. If you’re planning to use Shirataki (miracle) noodles, then rinse them in cold water and then place them in the microwave for 30 seconds on high to get rid of any excess water. Since both types of pasta are pretty much carb-less and calorie-less, you can pretty much use as much as you want (I recommend 1 zucchini per serving or 1 packet of Shirataki noodles per serving just so you don’t run out of sauce).
Place the pasta on the bottom of a bowl, place 3 meatballs on top, and then pour the sauce onto it.
I calculated each meatball at around 90 calories (for 1.5inch diameter pork meatballs) and 130 calories for each serving of sauce. So for a bowl of 3 meatballs plus the sauce and pasta, it’s around 400 calories. The meatballs have negligible carbs and each serving of sauce has around 4g net carbs (mostly from the garlic and tomatoes). All-Paleo for those of you who care.
I used to hate tuna fish, and even now I still don’t eat much tuna fish, despite the fact that I generally love seafood. I find tuna fish dry and odd tasting, so the only way I’ll eat tuna fish is in the tuna salad pictured to the left. It’s based on a recipe that I found on allrecipes.com (Barbie’s Tuna Salad), but I’ve modified it slightly to lower the calories and make it taste even better. I use light mayo (Smart Balance, which is low fat and low calorie), less sweet pickle relish and no parmesan cheese (I couldn’t taste it at all!) to cut down on the calories. I also put in less dill and more curry powder than the original recipe calls for (my version is below, of course). All in all, it’s a delicious tuna salad that’s full of protein, is low in carbs, and is relatively low in calories. I make it by the bucket load, so that I have enough to eat for at least a week – Costco sells tuna in 5lb tins, and each tin makes a huge mixing bowl-full that takes me around a week to finish eating.
Here’s my recipe:
This is the simple part – just put everything in a large bowl and mix well (make sure all the tuna is well flaked so that the flavors can mix in with it).
This takes around 20 minutes to prepare. I would say it makes around ten 8-oz servings, and each serving contains around 250 calories.
You can obviously scale the recipe down if you don’t want to make so much tuna in one go, but just be careful to do the calculations correctly.
I had pulled pork cooked in an green egg a few weeks ago at a friend’s house in Georgia. A green egg? It’s a high end ceramic charcoal cooker that keeps temperatures regulated throughout the cooking process and it’s shaped like a green egg (see photo). It tasted delicious, but unfortunately, the green egg costs over $1,000, requires a deck or balcony (which is impossible in NY), and takes 8 hours of monitoring. Instead of all that, I just use my handy slow-cooker. And what about the BBQ sauce? Aha – this is where it gets exciting…Zero-calorie delicious BBQ sauce – keep reading and all will be revealed.
Instructions for Cooking the Pulled Pork:
Zero-carlorie, Zero-carb BBQ Sauce:
There are 2 incredible parts to this secret sauce:
FIRST, Walden Farms makes these amazing zero-calorie zero-carb dressings and sauces (and even a chocolate dip). You can buy it off Amazon for $3.99 plus shipping or at random little stores like the one on the corner of 9th Ave. and 36th St. without the shipping. There are 4 flavors, and I’ve tried 2 so far: Honey and Thick N’ Spicy. Ok, if you’re reading their reviews on Amazon or you’ve tried it, it’s not exactly amazing. The Thick ‘N Spicy is pretty good if you can handle a lot of spice. The Honey isn’t spicy, but you can taste the fake sugar in it. But, if you add the second part of this secret sauce, it transforms….
SECOND, Crystal Hot Sauce, which you can buy from Amazon for $7.99 and free shipping. It may not sound that amazing, especially since the ingredients are so simple: Aged Red Cayenne Peppers, Distilled Vinegar, Salt. But, it is just that…amazing. It adds so much flavor without being too spicy. I love spicy food, but I can’t take huge amounts of spice, so this is perfect.
The trick is to combine the Crystal sauce with the Walden Farm Honey BBQ and then adding a touch of salt. The hot sauce flavor completely covers up the fake sugar taste in the BBQ sauce so that you’re simply left with a delicious sauce! Pour onto your pulled pork, or pulled chicken or whatever meat you want. Zero calories. Zero Carbs. I could write something very cheesy right now, but I’ll stop here.
I never use my oven enough when I’m cooking – I think it’s probably the Asian in me! My parents have a large kitchen with 3 ovens, and yet they never use any of them! I’m not even positive they know how to use the oven! The only time I remember using the oven before college was to dry a piece of plastic (which then melted of course, duh!) and making cheese on toast (a fav of mine from my childhood days!). Well, this diet is pushing me to discover new appliances! I discovered what the broiler button on my oven did a year ago (while trying to figure a way of cooking sausages more conveniently), and now I’m discovering just how good salmon can taste when baked in the oven. This is a simple and quick recipe from allrecipes.
Ingredients to make 2 fillets of salmon
It’s hard living without noodles and pasta, especially when instant ramen noodles and quick pasta dishes played such an important part of my college life! Here’s 4 noodles/pasta you can eat on a low carb diet – they all have practically no calories and no carbs (the 3rd and 4th noodles are different variations of each other)!
1. Zucchini Noodles Start with 3 zucchinis and a Julienne peeler (kinda like a potato peeler but it cuts everything into thin strands at the same time). Cut each zucchini in half lengthwise, place the flat side down onto your chopping board and start peeling away with the Julienne peeler. It’s easy to use – just pull down like in the photo. You end up with strands of zucchini noodles ready to cook.
There are various ways of cooking the zucchini noodles. The easiest is to put a bit of olive oil into a frying pan. Add some minced garlic and chopped chives and then put in the zucchini noodles. Cook in the frying pan for a minute, add salt to taste, drain and serve. Out of the 4 noodles, these were definitely my favorite!
2. Kelp Noodles I picked up this packet of kelp noodles for $2.49 from my local Korean supermarket (H-Mart on 32nd St., New York). Kelps are large seaweeds according to Wikipedia – they’re fat-free, gluten-free, low-calorie (55 cals per 12oz pack, which can serve 2 people) and 0 net carbs (11g of fiber).
The noodles are edible straight from the packet, but are rather crunchy and have no flavor. I washed the noodles in cold water and then squeezed out the excess water. I then added some soy sauce, sesame oil, garlic, and chives, and then mixed it all together in a bowl. I put the bowl into the microwave for 30 seconds on high and poured out any excess liquids afterwards. The noodles were still rather crunchy, but not bad.
3. Shirataki Noodles (White) I tried these noodles a while ago as Wholefoods sold them and they had gotten a lot of press as a diet food. They’re made from the root of a type of asian yam (sometimes called konjac or elephant yam), but unlike the yams that we’re used to which contain a lot of net carbs, these so called “yam” plants have pretty much all fiber. Each 1 oz packet contains less than 1g of net carbs and 0 calories. The packet pictured below are white Shirataki Noodles (also called Yam Noodles) that contain no tofu or soy. Some manufacturers make a tofu Shirataki noodle, which as you might have guessed contains tofu. Supposedly, the tofu makes the noodles less rubbery, but it also adds some carbs to the noodles.
How to cook them? Take them out of the packet and wash them with cold water 3 times. I find the noodles to smell a bit fishy (literally), and so I like to rinse them well. Then place the noodles into the microwave and cook on high for 30 seconds – this helps to get rid of the fishy smell and makes them less rubbery. Rinse again in cold water. Add in soy sauce, sesame oil, garlic, and chives and mix together. Cook again in the microwave on high for 20 seconds. Drain the excess liquid and serve.
4. Shirataki Noodles (Brown) These are basically the same as the white shirataki noodles except they have some seaweed food-coloring in them! They taste pretty much the same too and have the same nutritional values – it just adds a bit of variety to our meals.
More recipes on how to make delicious low-carb meals with these noodles will follow.